Man pleads guilty to meth manufacturing

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Jonah Beleckis | March 16, 2017

ELKHORN—A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to manufacturing methamphetamine after he was released on bond for possessing materials to make the drug a few months earlier.

Patrick A. Gerber, 38, formerly of Whitewater, reached an agreement to enter guilty pleas from two cases.

On Aug. 2, members of the Walworth County sheriff's drug unit executed a search warrant at N6619 Anderson Drive, town of Richmond, where they found pseudoephedrine, batteries containing lithium, drain cleaner, camp stove fuel and iodized salt, according to the criminal complaint.

While Gerber was out on bond for the August case, police stopped him Oct. 19 in a Lake Geneva fast-food restaurant parking lot with meth precursors and a “partway done” batch of meth in a vehicle, according to the criminal complaint from that case.

A deputy who stopped Gerber said, “Please tell me there are not any methamphetamine precursors in the vehicle,” to which Gerber responded, “It's all in there,” according to the complaint.

The deputy found a one-pot batch that was ready to be connected to a gas generator.

Gerber also pleaded guilty to felony bail jumping.

The other meth-related charges from the cases were dismissed and read in.

Earlier this week, Gerber was charged with felony bail jumping again. This count was also dismissed and read in.

While he was released on bond for the October case, Gerber purchased Sudafed on March 5 in Lake Geneva, according to the most recent criminal complaint. Sudafed, which Gerber was not allowed to have as a condition of his bond, is a common ingredient in making meth.

A deputy spoke with the manager of the rehab center where Gerber was staying who said he found what appeared to be a meth lab in a tree line near the center, according to the complaint.

A part of Gerber's plea agreement was for the prosecution to cap its sentencing recommendation at four years in prison.

Gerber will be sentenced at 2:30 p.m. May 30.

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